Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Things I'm missing...

1
It's been a fair uneventful time in Haikou these past few days. We have, for the most part, been having lessons in Chinese (handy!) and teaching (pointless). I have finally opened the little book I brought with me and am now making some attempt at writing a diary. Yes, I may have written only 2 entries, but I'm making an effort! I just think I'd like to have something to read back later on when Hainan is but a memory, something more tangible than fleeting recollections. Though what I classify as noteworthy is fairly limited, though it'll be the little things, the banter, the nights out and the in-jokes that I'd really want to take away with me. Thus far anyway - once I hit China proper in February, THEN I'll have some disgustingly cool memories to take away with me. On that note, I've realised I should really take my camera around with me more...

I have also experienced a little of the awkwardness that I was afraid of getting before I came out here. Shopkeepers expect me to speak Chinese and me, my fellow travellers and the shop assistance all get a little disappointed when I fall completely short. I have also once been laughed at (I felt about 2 feet tall) but overall they're alright with it.

And so, as I have nothing great to report (do you really want to hear about the time I went to the shopping mall and bought peanut butter? Little tragic that shopping for little things is now our life...) I'm going to instead list out things I'm missing about the little island I call home:
- Rather depressingly, the ability to mess about on my iTunes. I have my playlists by mood and so forth, and my moods are changing now I'm out here and I'm having to go back to old ones. IT may sound a little sad, and I daresay it is, but music has always been a part of my life and so the altering of my ability to thus control it is a little frustrating.
- The green of non-tropical trees, grass and plants. Around the area of Haikou we're staying in, there are mainly main roads and heavily neon-ed buildings, but there are certainly no shortage of trees but they're all palms, and there is a street where there are about 12 flower shops where the bouquets are wonderfully colourful, but somehow artificial in their beauty. I miss the deep, darker green of the trees around Victoria Park, not that I could name them for you.
- All you guys. The people here are all pretty sound, though as I may or may not have said, I'm starting to see the divisions forming, not in any kind of harsh or spiteful way, more the sad yet inevitable ebb away... But I can't help but think this experience would be all the better if I had just one or two of you out here. As is rather predictable, I keep seeing and hearing things that remind me of London (to me, London is the Londoners, ie you, rather than, say, the tower of Big Ben) and that gives me a short pang of longing for the familiar voices and faces. For example, I met a couple of the group who have heard and love Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours"... that's not the most common song, so obviously I think of a few of you (you know who you are, if you're reading this, KN, CG, SH...)
- The feeling of complete safety just walking about on the streets. It's rather strange. I'm not at all scared walking about, just a little ill at ease and feeling as if I have to keep alert. In some ways, Hong Kong and Singapore prepared me for this experience but I felt alright there, as if I could get by if I needed to (Singapore more so... the language definitely helps) but here I feel perpetually like a stranger.

We're going to a temple on a mountain or something like that this weekend and staying over for the night. That should be interesting and worth a story or two... I shall keep you in the loop :)

p.s. Nick, if you read this, I bought seasons 1 and 2 of "How I Met Your Mother" on fake DVD for like one quid, how cool is that?!

1 Response to Things I'm missing...

CG
17 January 2008 at 15:01

Steve,
"...Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find love love love
Listen to the music of the moment maybe sing with me
i love peaceful melody..."
Missing you SK, come home soon
Besos y abrazos (culture change!)
CG
xxx